Just a few days ago, 20 young researchers from all over the world were honoured by Federal Minister of Education and Research Professor Annette Schavan as winners of this year´s international “Green Talents” competition. The Green Talents award of the BMBF under the patronage of Professor Schavan was handed out for the second time in 2010 as a distinction for outstanding scientific talent in the field of sustainability research. Now, the Green Talents have returned to their home countries and will start preparations for their research stays in 2011 - as part of their award. The 20 new Green Talents are invited to return to Germany for a research stay of up to three months during the next year, fully financed by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Five of the 15 Award Winners of the first competition in 2009 have already seized this opportunity. One of them is Dr. Samuel (Xingmao) Ma. During his research stay at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, the 2009 Green Talent Winner Ma established first collaborations with German colleagues to jointly explore the beneficial applications of nanotechnology in environmental protection practices. Apart from conducting research on the complex topic of evaluating the mobility of halogenated compounds from adsorptive domain to reactive domain on an activated carbon-iron nanocomposite at the UFZ-facilities in Leipzig, Dr. Ma also attended the 20th National Conference of the German Society of Cytometry in Leipzig. "It was a three day conference and I had the great opportunity to learn the latest on the interdisciplinary area of nanotechnology and micro- and biotechnology", Ma explains.
The researcher from China, currently appointed assistant professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in the United States, also met the 2010 Green Talent Winners during the 7th BMBF Forum for Sustainability (FONA-Forum) in Berlin for a first exchange of experiences. Samuel Ma was accompanied by his family during his research stay in Germany. "On the weekends, I travelled around Leipzig with my family and it was an extraordinary experience. We enjoyed our stay in Germany tremendously and I look forward to visiting Germany again soon. In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry for funding this program."
A total of 234 young scientists from 57 countries had applied to become one of the “Green Talents” in 2010. The first round of the Green Talents Competition in 2009 had generated 156 applications out of 43 countries. The increased interest in the competition underlines the growing importance of themes such as climate change, future of energy resources and environmental hazards among young researchers worldwide. “This award is a signal”, said Minister Schavan during the award ceremony at the 7th BMBF Forum for Sustainability (FONA) in Berlin : “We want to engage together in climate change, energy safety and resource efficiency.”
As part of the award, the Green Talents travelled through Germany from 1 to 11 November 2010 participating in a ten day science forum. You can follow their trip during the Green Talents Forum here.
Further information on the Green Talents Competition 2009 and 2010 is available on www.greentalents.de